WINONA LAKE – Grace’s men’s basketball team outmuscled Huntington to an 84-74 victory on Tuesday.
Grace’s big men made their presence felt the entire game as Logan Godfrey and Erik Bowen led the Lancers (12-13, 4-9 Crossroads League) to the team’s third-straight victory. Godfrey led the Lancers with 27 points, tying his career high. Not to be outdone, Bowen recorded a double-double of 19 points and 17 rebounds.
The Lancers came out determined to build a lead early. The atmosphere in the MOCC was electric as Grace started the game off with a 14-2 run that was topped off by a Godfrey breakaway dunk. The run shifted all the momentum in their favor.
Grace held a 21-9 lead halfway through the first half. Huntington (14-11, 5-8 CL) tried to fight its way back, as the Foresters went on an 8-0 run of their own courtesy of two 3-pointers.
The Lancers kept the momentum, responding with a 14-3 run, six of those points coming from Godfrey. Grace had one of its best shooting halves of the season, shooting 62 percent from the floor. The Lancers’ pesky defense held Huntington to just 25 percent shooting.
Grace went into halftime leading 43-27. Huntington struggled from the free throw line, going 5-of-10 from the charity stripe. A silver lining for the Foresters was shooting an impressive 40 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Godfrey and Bowen led Grace in scoring and rebounds. Godfrey went into the half with 14 points and seven boards. Bowen had a double-double going into the break, tallying 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Lancers shared the ball well, recording 10 assists in the half.
The Foresters had their work cut out for them as they tried to eat away at the Lancer lead. Huntington wasted no time coming out of the half, going on a 9-2 run by getting some easy buckets after several Lancer turnovers. Their momentum came to a halt when Trevor Lockwood picked up his fifth foul with 10 minutes remaining in the game on a technical foul.
Huntington worked its way back into the game, trailing by just six with a little over nine minutes remaining. The Foresters benefitted from the Lancers’ Bowen and Braxton Linville both receiving their fourth fouls early in the half.
The Lancers built their lead back up into double-digits as both teams traded baskets down the stretch. Huntington remained in striking distance, scoring two late 3s but Grace iced the game at the free throw line to come away with the 84-74 win.
Huntington’s Daniel Woll finished with 19 points of his own; 13 points came in the second half alone. The Forester defense forced Grace into committing 18 turnovers in the game, and they took advantage scoring 20 points off turnovers in the game.
Grace held a dominant 45-21 advantage in rebounds on Tuesday. The Lancers shot 55 percent from the floor compared to 40 percent for the Foresters.
Linville finished the game with 8 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds. Tre Olive and Chad Hoffer had eight points apiece, and Stephen Halstead and Charlie Warner each scored seven.
The Lancers take sole possession of eighth place in the Crossroads League as a result of Tuesday’s win. They will look to extend their winning streak to four when they take on archrival Bethel on Saturday in Mishawaka. Tip-off will be at 3 p.m. and is the second part of a men’s and women’s doubleheader.